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It’s Pretty Much the Same Everywhere

Contrary to what one-state lobbyists like to tell me, their states are not so unique and lobbying is pretty much the same in every state and for every group because:

  • The US Constitution dictates organization and process;
  • Lawmakers’ psyches are remarkably similar; and
  • Lobbying is legislative sales.

Personalities not process make one state differ from the other. Regionalism is reality; and power is policy. Superimpose a map of LGBTQ friendly states over a map of marijuana legalizing states over a map of pro-choice states, and you will see the same states – all blue. The inverse to these topics will display another set of like-minded states – all red. With these kinds of topics states do gravitate to poles and a lobbyist can claim the uniqueness of a pole.

However, most lobbyists are not advocating for hot-button social issues but for economic concerns.  85% of lobbying is about taking money from one person’s pocket and putting it in someone else’s pocket. The threshold question of lobbying is, “Why would that lawmaker give me his or her vote?” and then “What are my opponents offering that lawmaker to get that same vote?” A lobbying campaign focused on lawmaker self-interest greatly diminishes the variations among states. On most economic issues states gravitate toward the center.

This is why multi-state lobbying works for most advocacy groups, regardless of red or blue state. Meeting the economic needs of lawmakers, their districts, and state overall lets most groups compete anywhere. And as to 85 % of issues a well-executed lobbying can be successful pretty much anywhere .

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